Heavy rains bring down temperatures in Delhi, but cause traffic jams

Heavy rain lashed Delhi on Friday afternoon after a weeklong dry spell, bringing the temperature down by eight degrees Celsius between 2:30pm and 5.30 pm and wiping out the deficiency in rainfall that Delhi was facing since July 1 despite the timely arrival of monsoon on June 28, according to officials from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

Friday’s rain was the heaviest Delhi has received on a single day in the month of July, since 2015.

“While Safdarjung area, which is considered representative of Delhi’s weather, received 52.4mm of rain, the Ridge area received 118.4mm of rain. Palam received the lowest rainfall on Friday, just around 14.2mm,” said a senior official of the IMD’s Regional Weather Forecasting Centre.

Meteorological officials have forecast that the sky will remain cloudy on Saturday and there are chances of light rain. Unlike Friday, it won’t be a heavy downpour though.

While Delhi usually receives around 70mm of rain between July 1 and July 12, this year it had received 64mm. Friday’s shower evened the equation.

But the heavy rain led to waterlogging on several arterial roads, including the one between Rajghat and ITO, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Mathura Road, Lala Lajpat Rai Marg, and Aurobindo Marg, among others, triggering traffic jams as people made their way home after work.

Vehicles had to be diverted from several roads, including Minto Road, Karol Bagh and Patel Nagar because of flooding. While a bus was submerged on Minto Road, another bus was damaged in Vasant Kunj when a tree fell on it. Ten people had to be evacuated from the flooded stretch on Minto Road, an official said.

“At least 57 calls related to waterlogging were received by the Delhi Traffic Police’s control room. Of them, at least six calls were about falling trees. The civic agencies were informed through hotline to pump out water from affected roads. Around 2,500 traffic police personnel were deployed to regulate traffic,” said Arun Kampani joint commissioner (traffic) of police.

The last time it rained so heavily in Delhi on a single day in July was on July 11, 2015, when the 93mm was recorded in Safdarjung. The heaviest rain Delhi has ever encountered on a single day in July was on July 21, 1958 when the city received 266mm of rain.

“The monsoon trough, which triggers rain wherever it goes, had drifted to the south of Delhi,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, a senior scientist with Regional Weather Forecasting Centre, explaining the prolonged dry patch till July 12. “Since Thursday, however, it started moving north towards Delhi and triggered rain. There was also a cyclonic circulation, which helped to trigger the rain,” he added.

While the maximum temperature was 34.2 degrees in the afternoon, the mercury dropped to 26.2 degrees Celsius just after the shower.

Since July 1, Delhi has received only around three days of heavy rain. On July 3, it received around 25mm rain and on July 6, around 34.2mm .

Because of the intervening dry spells and hot winds coming in from northwest, the mercury shot up to 40.1 degrees Celsius on two consecutive days — July 8 and July 9. This was the highest day temperature recorded in July since 2014,” said Srivastava

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